The transport sector is of key importance for the socio-economic development of the Latin American and Caribbean Region (LAC). Governments are striving to bridge the gap between transportation demand and supply to facilitate access to health care, education, jobs and markets to all economic and social groups, with a wide geographic coverage, in a safe, environmentally friendly and affordable way. Several countries and cities are taking action to reduce Green House Gas emissions, as shown by the mounting interest in Bus Rapid Transit systems. The challenge now is to replicate and scale up such positive examples.
In 2010, the Bank launched the Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport Action Plan (REST-AP) to provide guidance to the client countries and to facilitate the mainstreaming of climate change mitigation and adaptation in IDB’s transport operations. Initial activities have focused on building knowledge and capacity through international seminars and workshops, developing studies (on climate instruments in the transport sector, for example), and training IDB staff and clients in sustainable urban passenger and freight transport.
The REST initiative expects to generate a steady stream of loans and technical cooperation grants, helping member countries develop national and local policies on sustainable, low-carbon transport. In 2010 the Bank approved six loans, with a combined value of US$650 million, on public transportation reform, expansion, and improvement, as well as 14 technical cooperation grants.
REST-AP Strategic Priorities:
• Enhance the knowledge base on climate change mitigation and adaptation priorities
• Strengthen institutions and the private and public capacity for climate change action
• Develop guidelines, tools and criteria for mainstreaming climate change mitigation and adaptation in IDB transport operations
• Identify and develop lending and technical assistance potential for sustainable low-carbon transportation
• Scale up investments addressing financial gaps and leveraging private sector investments